Pickup Truck of the Year Walk-Around: 2016 RAM 1500 Rebel
When the Ram 1500 Rebel was first shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, our initial reaction was “Oh, look at that, another Raptor wannabe.” However, after spending some time behind the wheel, we can confidently say that the Rebel stands on its own as a legitimate off-road truck, similarities to other 4x4 fullsize trucks notwithstanding. Ram is adamant that the Rebel is not its direct answer to the Raptor. And with the legendary Ram 2500 Power Wagon already in its lineup, Ram doesn’t need to play the “me too” game with anyone in terms of off-road credentials.
In this year’s Pickup Truck of the Year testing, the Rebel’s air suspension, burly and enthusiastic 5.7L Hemi V-8, and choice of shocks proved its capability off-road, especially in the sand dunes, where it was by far the most fun of the bunch to play with. No, it’s not a Raptor, or a Power Wagon, for that matter. What the Rebel is is a fun-to-drive off-road–oriented truck that’s livable as a daily driver, and a head-turner to boot. Its 10,000-pound towing capacity also proves you don’t have to give up capability for a truck that’s ready to play in the dirt.